The Juice Bar

My muses, thoughts, ideas, and whatever

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

My reading list - November 2008

My reading list for November 2008, a little light due to Nanowrimo, but one very good book:

Acedia and Me - by Kathleen Norris

An informative look in to a spiritual sickness that is largely ignored by psychologists, doctors, and even clergy: the condition that monks centuries ago termed "acedia", which is a malaise, an indifference of not caring about anything. Kathleen Norris looks at the way this condition was diagnosed by monks, and how the condition affects many people in our modern society, though they wouldn't call it by name. She also differentiates between acedia as a sickness of the spirit, verses clinical depression, which is a physiological condition due to impaired brain chemical functions. She also recounts her own struggle against acedia in the midst of her life as a writer and through her marriage to a husband with significant health challenges. Ms. Norris really gives an insightful look into a condition that affects so much of modern society, that is not named but whose effects are felt in human isolation, cynicism, and coldness of heart. We should learn to diagnose this condition in ourselves, and I am learning how much of my life has been affected by acedia.


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